Philips Hue Lux
By now, everyone has heard of Philips’ Hue bulbs, the internet-connected, color-changing LEDs that are incredibly fun, and too expensive for most people to seriously consider. Being able to choose from millions of different colors is a great parlor trick, but ultimately everyone just wants a warm, yellow-white glow reminiscent of the power-hogging incandescents that have been largely regulated out of existence. So last year, Philips got rid of the gimmick, and released a less expensive, non-color-changing connected bulb called Hue Lux, that only outputs white light. It was fantastic, both in terms of its output, and the rock-solid stability of the Hue apps for iOS and Android. We’ve tried other connected LEDs, and they’ve always inspired regret at some point, like when their interface continually crashes, or the bulbs start blinking because they’ve lost their connection.
Philips’ Hue bulbs just work, letting you operate and dim them from your phone or tablet (or other devices, like universal remotes and Jawbone’s UP24 fitness tracker, but more on that later). The fewer-frills Lux variant is just as stable as its wackier predecessor, but more universally appealing. [$80 for two bulbs and wireless bridge, $20 per bulb; store.apple.com]Back to top